Tag Archives: Port Isla

Port Isla – “Steamroller”

9 Apr

Port Isla Steamroller

We’ve featured the folky sounds of Port Isla a few times now, and not just because they (like us) are based in Norwich. After a quiet but impressive 2013 where they cemented their burgeoning reputation as a band on the rise, in fact we even included them in our lovely list of wonderful artists to listen out for this year, they are now looking to step out, and up with their first new tune of 2014.

“Steamroller”, the title track from their new EP which is out on 28 April, is another slice of bold, foot-stampy, sing-alongy, anthemic indie-folk that they do so well. Unlike real steamrollers, which are fairly slow and plodding vehicles, this clatters along at a brisk pace, all energy and colour. The beat crashes enthusiastically as the guitars kick in and run about joyfully. They won’t, they sing, let the panic get out, but the chorus sure does. It reaches up and out like all good, festival friendly choruses should for, after playing Glastonbury last year, a summer in a lot of fields with people waving, smiling and singing back at them surely awaits them.

It is just another example of how to make superbly entertaining, bright and uplifting music from four young guys who are surely going to prove us right this year and make a real name for themselves.

The ‘Steamroller’ EP will be available on iTunes on 28 April.


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Blogathon: Heart of a Dog – “HOSS” Will Bloomfield Remix

31 Jan

Heart of a Dog - HOSS2

Time for a little Norwich love on the Blogathon now as we share a remix that has Fine City written all over it. Heart of a Dog’s “HOSS” has been given the once over by Port Isla’s Will Bloomfield and the result is a misty cloud of aural wistfulness.

We said that the original was delicate and understated but Will’s remix has taken it to a new level as barely there melodies swirl and dissipate before coming back together again. It’s like dry ice billowing out over a test tube of vocals and fragile percussion with his own piano sounds blending into an oh so slightly fuzzy electronic haze.

If music was bedding (God, it’s only been two hours and we’re thinking about sleep already…) then this would be a memory foam mattress perfectly contoured to fit your body shape and super snugly duvet that always keeps you at just the right temperature. You just climb in, snuggle down and immediately feel at home, comfortable and safe.

We predicted big things for Port Isla this year but we didn’t envisage the bonus success of remixer Will. If he keeps this kind of quality up, we’ll have to.


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Ho Ho Holy Crap It’s Almost Christmas…

24 Dec

Father-Christmas-web

Goodness, 2013 has flown by and here we are, what feels like just moments after the summer ended, on the cusp of Christmas and then the New Year. As is customary at this time of year, the festive songs are everywhere and for today Alphabet Bands will be no different.

If you’ve been reading Breaking More Waves these past two days, you’ll know that the big man himself has been in residence, effing and blinding and drinking all the whiskey. Due to contractual restrictions, Santa is unable to make an appearance here as well but that doesn’t matter as we managed to have a good rummage in his record box while his back was turned (chatting up one of the lady elves he was) and grabbed a few tunes for your enjoyment.

We’ll be back after Christmas with more of the best new music and probably some sort of look back over the year, talking about our 2013 and the like. For now though, enjoy the songs, both old and new (and especially the Christmas jumpers from the Air Marshall Landing guys) and have a wonderful few days with family and friends.


Us Baby Bear Bones – “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”


Port Isla – “Snowfall”


Mahoney and the Moment – “Call Me Back (I’ll Wait Til Christmas)”


Air Marshall Landing – “A Holly Jolly Christmas”


Maps – “Merry Christmas (My Friend)”


Will Bloomfield – “Tower Breakers (Christmas)”


Strangers – “This Year (Christmas Song)”


George Ezra – “Let It Snow”


Heart of a Dog – “Railroad Man”


Lisa Redford – “I Believe In Father Christmas”



Merry Christmas everyone, see you on the other side when our belly will be bulging and our blood type will be Rum.

2014 Preview – Listen Out For – The Full List, and a little extra…

7 Dec

2014 Previews The Full List

So, after a week and a half and 15 individual posts, our countdown of artists we think you should Listen Out For in 2014 is complete. Before we crack on (next week) with our end of year lists, for those amongst you who are lazy/busy/just like things all in one place (delete as applicable), we have collated the full selection of artists below with a handy soundcloud playlist of all 15 for your enjoyment. Should you wish to read more about each, just click on their name to see the full article.

AND, as if that wasn’t enough, we even have a little bonus below the playlist of the acts who almost made the 15 but who we felt were too good to leave off entirely. Some honourable mentions if you will.

#15 – Mega Emotion

”Full of big brash sounds, riffage and booming beats it also features soothing vocals and retro-sensibilities. It’s raw and powerful but calm and quiet too, like a circus muscle man cuddling a poodle or something.”

#14 – Mononoke

”What we do know is that she is blessed with quite a voice and, judging by her debut track “Alice”, song writing talent. With her tragically beautiful lament to a little girl trapped in a grown up world, a life of lost love, apathy and melancholy, she has set the bar very high.”

#13 – Port Isla

“As well as being super talented, they are the kind of lovely people that you just want to do well. They make such enthusiastic and warm music that you can’t help but like them.”

#12 – NONONO

”“Pumpin Blood” is the track that has broken out everywhere, with its ‘gets under your skin’ whistle. You may not know it, but you would probably recognise it. Big and brash, vibrant and frenetic, it’s the seven dwarves whistling while they work having dropped some acid and taken speed.”

#11 – Fractures

”…the gorgeous dreamy electro sounds of “Twisted”, complete with soft, soulful falsetto vocals that would stop a rhino’s heart, and the evocative crescendos of atmospheric folksiness on “Embers” were soon joined by the fabulous “Cadence” and “Tizer”.”

#10 – Embers

”They played two sets at The Great Escape, one in a grand high-ceilinged venue that allowed their music to spread and soar, the other in the cramped space of the Mesmerist pub where their sound exploded out at the audience, pummelling them with intensity and energy as veins bulged and sinews strained. It was one of the most intense, in your face performances we saw all year and we loved it.”

#9 –

”She is an artist that creates genuine excitement and a buzz of anticipation whenever she is about to perform. She even had the audacity to upstage the headlining AlunaGeorge on her recent UK tour and won many more fans in so doing.”

#8 – Pale

”It’s synth pop but ice cold, too cold even for Van Damme as it slides along stealthily like a glacier, taking you in its cool hand off to a world of desolate beauty. A world where the stark surroundings, the bleakness and desolation carry a majestic splendour, it’s not a world of disrepair but one that has been lovingly tended and cultured.”

#7 – Pawws

”Our love for the music of Pawws was immediate and full on, an infatuation. Her music is instantly accessible and enjoyable with influences from the likes of Robyn, Annie and Madonna and vocals that are beautifully sweet and heartfelt. She can do big vibrant rainbows of sound, all danceable and bright and she can do genteel and calm as well.”

#6 – Gems

”The vocals are sweet and breathless, a whispered caress on a smooth gossamer breeze of synths and electronic beats. Weightless and elegant, like moments of purity handed down from above, unsullied and unspoiled for us to enjoy and bathe in their beauty.”

#5 – Iyes

”They make pop music, but it’s not homogenised pre-packaged pop, it’s edgy and different but with enough accessibility to transcend the blogosphere and break the mainstream consciousness. Like Chvrches but without as many 80’s reference points and fewer lasers.”

#4 – Lyla Foy

”The songs are reflective and the arrangements offer an intimacy to the listener, a closeness brought from the instrumentation, the emotion and purity of the music and lyrics. It’s delicate, like the frayed edges of a heart whose thread could be pulled at any moment, and it’s utterly gorgeous.”

#3 – Avec Sans

”What they do so well, and what we absolutely adore, is make fantastically upbeat and danceable tunes. Electro sparkles and beats flash and pulse like a grand firework display against a night sky of synths and melody. Choruses are made to be sung along to while your feet tap and shuffle, heads nod, arms twist and bodies convulse in rhythmical movement; sprung into life by the infectious and compelling sounds.”

#2 – Empress Of

”Her music is addictive and tingle making, high art meets pop accessibility in the most gorgeous manner. Seductive tones, swirling melodies that draw you in and buffet you gently along as the beats take synths by the hand and swoon and sway along like cavorting partners, clinging to each other in the low light of a slow dance.”

#1 – Sivu

”He is a beguiling artist, telling tales born in the shadows of anguish, or inspired by theology in a rousing and heartswelling manner. Acoustic sounds marble with electronic embellishments, strings ebb and flow with the tide and all the while, introspections and observations pour out like nectar for our soul. It is entirely possible, ironically, to lose yourself in his lightly rasping voice and warm melodies. Even when singing “Coldhands” is like a walk across a warm yellow corn field on a calm day, fingers running over the tops of the long stems as they are rustled by a gentle breeze.”


Honourable Mentions…

Curxes

Curxes

If you’re wondering what that massive kaboom sound was just then, it was your senses under attack and your brain screaming out for more. Portsmouth/Brighton pair Curxes make blitz-pop and there’s no escape from its aural magnificence and energy. Last year they were one of the most blogged about artists in the UK (despite having no PR or representation) and while 2013 has been comparatively quiet, the new songs they played for us at Norwich Sound and Vision in October are sounding amazing and could take them to a whole new level in 2014.


Strangers

Strangers London Lights

We’ve been championing the case for this London trio for some time now and with their debut EP on the way, and a follow up scheduled for the new year it could well be that the breakthrough they’ve threatened for so long could be about to happen. Their dark hued electro pop is common cold level catchy but immensely enjoyable and danceable. And while you can get your groove on whilst sneezing your face inside out, we wouldn’t recommend it. Get down to some Strangers instead, it’s much more fun.


Jack Robert Hardman

jack_robert_hardman

Our main man Jack. As our ‘H’ artist we have been following the fortunes of Mr Hardman for a while now and we feel that bigger and better things are just around the corner. His debut album made our end of year list in 2012 and while this year has been more about remixing and a charming little video (below), 2014 should be all about JRH. There’s a new EP on the way, with guest vocalists and artists a-go-go and judging by the unfinished demos we heard a couple of months back, it’s going to be a beauty.


Abi Wade

Abi Wade

One woman, one cello, two foot pedals and an array of sound, melody, rhythms and innovation. Yes, she is a pair of cymbals between her knees away from full-on-market-square-one-man-band-status, but while that shark remains unjumped she is an incredible live performer and musician. She’s got the songs to back it up as well, beautiful and soothing but also full of drama and emotion when they need to be. She’s been writing recently so hopefully that means an album could be on the way in 2014.


Leon Else

Leon Else

Be it fantastical and mystical or very much down to earth and even carnal, Leon Else can and will deliver a tune and half with the deep but light rumbling vocal at its heart. He sees the world slightly differently from most of us but that just makes his music all the more interesting and captivating. With radio play from the likes of Radio 1 and Amazing Radio already under his belt, 2014 could well see his proclamation that the future is


Laura Welsh

Laura Welsh

Laura’s sophisticated, R&B infused pop has passed through our inbox on the odd occasion over the last few months and while we always very much enjoyed it, other commitments meant we never quite got round to writing about it (despite intending to). On seeing her supporting London Grammar recently, we were instantly filled with regret that said posts never made it out of our heads and onto the page. She was fantastic. Big danceable sounds were offset with a deceptively big and powerful vocal and softer, gentler moments were treated with care and affection. 2014 should be a big one for Laura and we won’t be making the mistake of not writing about her again, trust us.


2014 Preview: Listen Out For #13 – Port Isla

28 Nov

Port Isla

Norwich based Port Isla are one of those bands that outwardly looked to have a fairly quiet year, but actually achieved quite a bit and were working hard to get set up for 2014.

After starting 2013 with the summer sunshine and energy of “Adventurers” (which, incidentally, we said would sound great played at festivals, just call us Nostradamus), the band went on to have a cracking summer themselves. Blog and critical support was already on the rise when they stormed to the final of the 2013 Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition thereby raising their profile still further. They may not have won, but so impressed were the judges by their fantastic folk-pop sounds, that they were booked to play The Acoustic Field anyway.

Time has been spent in the studio and with any luck there will be an EP (at least) released next year as a result. As well as being super talented (especially frontman Will, whose remixes are pretty fantastic as well), they are the kind of lovely people that you want to do well. They make such enthusiastic and warm music that you can’t help but like them, and with a little luck (they already have the talent and dedication – it’s what you need after all) they will be charming a lot of people next year.


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